Now that Passover is over, only one thing is on my mind. Bread, and lots of it. Bagels, challah, muffins and, of course, pizza. One of my favorite things to cook with my Mom growing up, besides the classics — rugelach, roasted chicken and latkes — was pizza.
Mom would make the dough and roll it out into individual portions. While my brother went traditional with cheese, peppers and mushrooms, I used whatever grabbed me from the refrigerator.A little goat cheese, why not? Maybe a drizzle of honey? Don’t mind if I do! Is it any wonder I became a chef?
These days, pizza is still a favorite, and I love coming up with creative toppings to keep things interesting. Bubbe’s classic tzimmes inspired this creation. In all honestly, I don’t love tzimmes. It’s usually too sweet for my tastes, and a little mushy. But with rich apricot caramelized onions and savory blue cheese to balance it out, this pizza is definitely a keeper.
- For dough:
- 1 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F
- 1 envelope (2 ¼ teaspoons) instant dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3- 3½ cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For toppings:
- 1 small, thin sweet potato, about ½ pound, cut into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 pound red potatoes, cut into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 carrot, cut into ¼ inch rounds
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, about 1 pound, sliced thin
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ cup apricot preserves
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ pound blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 3 dates, diced
- To make the dough, combine water, yeast, honey and 1-cup bread flour in a large bowl. Then let sit until it puffs up and is foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add in olive oil and salt and then keep adding additional flour while mixing with a spoon until a slightly sticky dough forms.
- Knead the dough using your hands for about 5 minutes. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it is dry, add a little water.
- Put dough in a large bowl greased with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-½ hours until dough doubles in size.
- While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place sliced sweet potatoes, red potatoes and carrot slices in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and combine. Place vegetables on a foil lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and slightly golden brown. Then increase heat of oven to 500 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, heat a large 12-inch sauté pan over medium- high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat. Then add sliced onion and 1-teaspoon salt. Lower heat to medium-low and let cook stirring often. Continue cooking until onions are a rich brown color, about 45 minutes. If onions start to stick or dry out, add a little water to the pan.
- Once onions are caramelized, add apricot jam, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water and cook until the water has evaporated and sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Once dough has risen, punch it down and roll out on a floured surface into designed shape and place on a pizza stone.
- Top dough with caramelized onion mixture, then top with roasted sweet potatoes, red potatoes and carrots in a pattern or random. Sprinkle with blue cheese, rosemary, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles. Sprinkle with diced dates, slice and eat!
This recipe originally appeared in The Jewish Week!